Saturday, February 26, 2011

Hillbilly snowboarding

2500 acres of state owned forestry land.
Logging roads wind for miles.
You can literally drive these roads from Portland to Astoria if you know
the way.

A logger friend of mine called and said he wasn't allowed to go work
because the snow is too deep.

Time for some hillbilly snowboarding.

4x4 ---check
winch ----just in case----check
Red diesel fuel----for fire starter---check

Drive up

Drive till I cannot plow through the snow anymore.

Find a place to park where the hill seems to go another mile or so

Park truck
Start fire
Gear up

Probably hiked 2 miles.
Perfect powder.
Sun reflecting off everything white.
Views of the Columbia River and all of Astoria below.


What an amazing and free experience.
2 mile powder run down a virgin road of white.

Literally free.
No lift ticket.
No crowds.

Warm cozy fire at the bottom.

North Pacific.

Monday, February 14, 2011

Oh----- to be eleven.

Could there be anything cooler?....for an eleven year old boy?

Working with your dad, and dad's friend, on a commercial fishing boat
in the mighty Columbia River in Oregon.

More boats have capsized in this stretch of the river than any other river mouth on the coasts of North and South America.

Nothing is more exciting to an eleven year old boy than the sense of adventure
and purpose.

And this eleven year old boy is named Hunter Brady.

Hunter stands about four feet tall and about 3 feet wide.
He eats like every other average boy.
But he just has a few extra pounds.
He's a cute kid....full of life and ideas.
He doesn't really fit in.
Most children in the 3rd grade are at home making valentines cards for their class.
And Hunter is, unfortunately, very aware that school is taking from his valuable
fishing time.

Yes, it was raining,
Yes, it was a long day with a lot of hard work.
Pulling hundreds of yards of net, made of fishing line, out of wooden storage boxes....and spreading
them out on the ground to hand stitch up all the holes----with a big needle and a lot of fishing line.

The wind was blowing 45 knots from the South today.
And it rained over 2 inches in only 4 hours.
Even here, that is a lot of rain.

The 45mph wind speed, of course, meant that the rain hit you at 45 miles an hour....all day long.
Every hair on my head was soaked with rain's glory.

And if not for the warm rubber boots on my feet I would surely have been complaining endlessly about the

For eight hours that little eleven year old boy stood out in that rain with me.
I repaired nets and he told me stories of how great 'the
catch' was going to be THIS year.

Hunter looked up at me with intense poise to ask a weighty question.

His deliberate eyes widened as he quizzed me...
"Scott, aren't you RRREALLY excited to go fishing today?"

He asked in a way that was questioning---and yet I could tell he would be startled if any person answered "no".

I recognized his passion and had no desire to put it out.
So I responded with encouragement.
"I will be SO excited when we finish all our work and have that net soaking in the water Hunter"

He was satisfied---he smiled---chuckled---and asked me what should be his next job?
"Ok, so what do you want me to do now?!" he asked with urgency.

"Hold that net up right there" I motioned. "If you hold that
up I can see it better to stitch it faster.
And I know...I am cold and shaking too....but we are ALMOST DONE"


3 hours later we were all set.
It was now almost dark.
6 pm, in Astoria, Oregon.
My body drenched but now covered in heavy rubber rain gear we wear while we fish.

The 6000 lb boat was hitched to my Chevy truck and I was ready to take it to the water.

Hunter's father, Jon Brady, is my fishing partner.
Jon works the boat any hours I don't work----which is generally 6pm to 6am----the graveyard shift.

Hunter rarely gets to go with his father because of an issue he sarcastically
describes as
'this little thing called school'.

At school Hunter dreams, draws, reflects, and contemplates, on commercial harvest fishing all day long.

What little boy would not?

He tells me of the classroom in which he can see our boats out on the water...and how he really wants to skip
school ----but he won't.

He won't because I told him that fisherman are always learning.
And if you can't 'do school' then you are not a fisherman I want on my boat.

Hunter jumped in my truck....slammed the door....and rejoiced.
"YES!! I got the door shut right this time."

I tell him to put his seat belt on and he immediately agrees.

And then he apologizes.
"I am sorry I broke your rear view mirror when I was climbing around in the truck earlier"

I smiled and responded.

"No problem Hunter, it's all in the name of passion for your job."

His pride in his work welled up in his entire being.
He straightened up his posture and turned to look out the back window of the truck.

He kept a sharp eye on the precious cargo ...watching the 6000 pound boat we were pulling.
What 11 year old boy would NOT be excited?

"Scott, I will jump out and direct you when you back the boat into the bay ok?"

"It's a deal" I said " you broke the mirror so now you will be my mirror"

He laughed....and sat smiling....eyes alive with excitement.....conjuring up the next exciting thing to say.

And then he turned to me.
"Scott" He said intensely "I know you weren't excited when we were fixing net in the rain....
....NOW are you excited ?"


We all need to take a little of Hunter's passion and distribute it into everything we do.

Because unless we be like a little child, we really cannot understand all of the blessings
we possess.

And unless we find enjoyment in seeking and learning, as a child, we can not expect
to ever find the truth.


Windshield wipers wiping as fast as possible.
Windows still a bit fogged up.

Hunter outside yelling
"left a little"
"ok now bring it right a little"

As I backed up the truck to drop the boat in the bay the dock owner ran toward my truck yelling.

I was surrounded by the loud noise of the truck engine, mixed with Hunter's high pitched commanding
voice trying to direct my navigation.

And in the distance came a lady yelling,

"60 mile per hour winds tonight.... you will have to pull it out"

I stopped backing up to more clearly hear her.

"Scott the winds are supposed to be worse tonight than last night"

My attention grew close to Cheryl's words because last night the winds were truly severe.

"Scott if you put in you will have to pull the boat out again tonight because we are not letting boats tie
up to the dock all's just going to be too rough"

Anticipating Hunter's disappointment I looked for him in my rear view mirror.

His face, obviously disappointed, also expressed concern.
He tried to run up to the window of my truck but it only resulted in a fast waddle---his short legs
could only move so fast.

Again---with deliberate eyes---he questioned me.

"Scott I am excited but it's gonna be rough tonight...and we don't want to get in trouble out there right?"

I could not help but be happy.
Hunter was so excited.....
But not just to catch fish...
Not just to be in a truck pulling a 6000 pound boat down the road.
And it wasn't even the idea of being a mighty fisherman.

What excited Hunter was the fact that we was really 'doing something important'.

I told him we would wrap it up for the day and get back on the water when the storm passes.

He smiled and said...
"yeah I am probably the only kid working in this whole county....but it's ok to take a night off"


He was visibly afraid.

But I also knew
that if I told him we were going anyway............he surely would have gone out on that rough water with me.


Oh.... to be eleven.
Fresh mind---fresh life ahead.

Never stop learning.

Tuesday, January 11, 2011


Cold---28 degrees---but bone dry.
Light winds blowing from the east.
The waves are small---only around 4 best.

Paddled out on a 10'2 with too much rocker
for such a small day.

I was so incredibly warm.
Even with east winds.
Never even a chill....

My paddle out I produced a serious sweat.
I ducked under water and floated to get some water in
my suit....I needed to cool off.

But it's 30 degrees out?

Bitchin' suit.

4 foot A frame peak.
4 guys out.
Wave after wave after wave.


But then....

I watched 3 waves break way off to the left....way out on the headland.
Paddled in my truck.
Put away my longboard.

Get my shortboard.

Walked out a couple hundred yards over the rocks.
1 person followed me out.
It's breaking right on the rocks.
But so perfect.

Unnecessary and undesirable to most who love this wave.
But it was so flawless.
Just a bit rocky....
Right on the rocks that is.

Catch one wave....looking down a barrel.
Got too deep...
Closed out.
Laid flat but my ass bounced off a boulder.

Board wedged in rocks.
Board check....ok.....
paddle back out.

Rocks underwater only 1 foot deep.
Dry rock on one attempted takeoff.
Because it's so damn pretty.

Rolled a little on the rocks on the third wave.

Small but fast.

So peaceful.

Is that....


It's snowing.

Detailed and and symmetrical.

Perfect waves.
Perfect ice crystals.

Here comes a wave....
The biggest of the day.

Clean line.

Wednesday, January 5, 2011

Coal and Columbia Cocktail

Everything flows downriver....
Everything in the river flows downward, or toward, the ocean.

But not on this part of the river.

This part of the river has an upriver side----pointing inland towards many cities of Oregon and Washington.
And there is a down river side of an ocean with extreme 10 foot changes in water depth every 6 hours...

Constant change.

The tides bring in huge amounts of water from the ocean.

Combine two forces of incoming and outgoing water and you get a very unstable and large mass of liquid moving around

Whip and chap.
Spit and foam.
Burning face.
Rain drops thrown into your eyedrops.

NOW...throw a few football fields of coal into that mixed drink.

A few football fields of coal dumped right in the middle of the deepest and fastest channel of that river.

......Couldn't possibly be of any good.


I hear they are soon going to be shipping coal out of Longview, Washington.

The coal will be shipped to China.
The company (they) who owns the coal, and is using Longview's port, is from Australia.


Hope they appreciate the coal in China and enjoy spending the profit from it in Australia?

And I now have to watch all that coal ship right on out to the ocean via the river flowing in front of my house.

A lot of ships have sank in the ocean river mouth here.
It is called 'the graveyard of the Pacific Ocean'.
The jaws of the Columbia river.....two jettys guiding the ships to the extreme ocean conditions.

So if a ship full of coal does ever go down.....and it will......what is the consequence?

That is a lot of coal in one spot of a river.

Just wondering.

The river here comes in and that slowly disintegrating coal will go up the river-------- and then down again.

Just wondering.


Friday, December 24, 2010

Shameless repost

Reposting this video because it is way too inspiring.
Kids from San Diego---a metro vibe surf utopia.
They ride chunks of foam.
These boys sand divets, bumps, lines and scratches into the foam...just to see how they ride.

It's about time something f'ing inspiring came out of the surf world in Southern California.
Sorry---the so called retro longboard stylists are not doing it for me.
And just because you have a new stick carved by a local boy does not make you any better than the guy riding the epoxy pop my opinion.
I gravitate towards the outcasts.
Estrangement in surfing seems pretty normal to me....having grown up surfing freezing cold water since I was 8 in Oregon.
Personally, I like the crazy folk in the water.
It's all about riding anyways.

Lord Board from Hydrodynamica on Vimeo.

Friday, November 26, 2010

World news from Mars...

The waves were 4 feet tall
crystal clear
fish swimming below
Peeling left to right
Sun is out
80 degree water
80 degree air
The water feels so much warmer.

Spin the board
Lay down
Left arm dig
Right arm dig
Wave lifts
Sliding forward
solid speed
stand up
No drop just a smooth turn on the swell
sliding down
Look at the bottom
Holy shit urchins
colored shells
colored rock

still flying
sliding along
look at my feet
Holy shit they are tan

And wow
The water running over the board on to my feet

Its warmer than the air.

It clears your mind.

Baja Mexico.
Stroll back to the hotel through the sand.

3 hours paddling
30 minute walk back to the hotel.

One cervesa.
Make that two.

Turn on the news.
WORLD news from Mexico.

Not good.
Not good at all.

Reality bites.
But life is really good.

It's just part of life.



So hard to imagine.
But true.

We are limited in what we know---limited to what we are fed.
If the knowledge is fed,
and we take it in---believe it---- It is said that we 'know'.
Unfortunately, I do think one can 'know' too much...
Teachers give the children prozac for that.

But what else is out there?
In America we are fairly free to go find 'the truth' or even dig deep enough to come up with our own crazy conspiracy.

Freedom of speech and journalism.

The North Korean culture is not similar.

Their information is sheltered...twisted...modified....and cleverly fed to the North Korean masses with well thought out manipulation.

Clever marketers.

It has been said that the North Korean government makes great attempt to 'scramble' the information coming into, and out of, their culture.

Yes---it's 2010.

While in Baja for a week there was only one news station available on the hotel televison.

CNN world.

It was a refreshing perspective---being in Baja and looking down on the entire picture----from the desert.
The desert has a surreal feel which is akin to being on another planet.
But with a beautiful ocean.

A dreaming surfers dream.

It definitely gives a clearer perspective.
Dry air.
Warm temperate.
The Baja locals idea of in-climate weather is a 15mph wind and/or gray sky....but it's still 75 degrees.

I was in an ideal place to view things.
And CNN world gave me a good peek back at 'reality'.

------and Korea is definitely a potential problem.

Please read this article from CNN.
It explains the mind control going on in North Korea and how deep the problem really is.

CNN) -- "Running dogs," "imperialist lackeys," "criminal gangs" and "brigandish moves" -- that sort of propaganda language died with the Cold War, except in the offices of the Korean Central News Agency.

The official mouthpiece of the North Korean government, KCNA is rarely at a loss for words. And it has never heeded the advice of Mark Twain: 'When you catch an adjective, kill it." But despite its often belligerent and always flowery rhetoric, it's also a (somewhat opaque) window on the thinking in Pyongyang.

KCNA was founded in 1946 and supplies the staple diet for all newspapers, radio and television in the country. At a pep talk in 1964, its workers received this advice from a senior party official: The agency "must pay serious attention to each word, to each dot of the writings it releases because they express the standpoint of our Party and the Government of our Republic."

As for an editorial line, the official went on: "So far we have slapped the enemy in the face. From now onwards we must strike at it with a heavy club."

The agency rarely refers to "South Korea" -- preferring terms such as "the South Korean puppet group." Sometimes it drops any reference to the South, opting for expressions like "the Lee Myung Bak group's treacherous and anti-reunification acts," referring to South Korea's current president. And it liberally uses quotation marks to imply illegitimacy.
The agency rarely refers to "South Korea" -- preferring terms such as "the South Korean puppet group."

In recent years, it has favored "brigandish" as the adjective of choice for the United States. Last year, it wrote that remarks by Secretary of State Hillary Clinton were "brigandish sophism reminiscent of a thief crying 'Stop the thief!' " Clinton seems a favorite target. "Sometimes she looks like a primary schoolgirl and sometimes a pensioner going shopping," KCNA opined in an editorial in July 2009.

It frequently warns that war is imminent, and the language is often recycled. This week, the wording is that the "Korean peninsula is inching closer to the brink of war due to the reckless plan of those trigger-happy elements." That's almost copied and pasted from June last year, when it wrote: "The situation is inching close to the brink of war due to the brigandish [that word again] moves of the U.S."

If Washington is often the villain, the hero is always the "dear leader" and "peerless patriot," Kim Jong Il. He has been variously credited with ensuring there is not a single case of HIV/AIDS in North Korea and dispensing vital advice to farmers.

The cult of personality is never far from KCNA's output. "Groups and centres for the study of Kimjongilism were formed and are active in many countries of the six continents, which is given attention as an expression of the unanimous aspiration and will of the progressive humankind," it wrote in 1997.
All eyes on North Korea

* North Korea
* South Korea

The mix of news on KCNA is often eclectic. On the day that North Korea carried out its first nuclear test in 2006, the agency reported "a great leap forward in the building of a great prosperous powerful socialist nation." But it also announced that commemorative stamps had been issued to mark the 80th anniversary of the Down-with-Imperialism Union (DIU) and that Kim had received a gift from a Nepalese library delegation.

Despite the verbiage, Korea analysts pore over the tone and content of KCNA's output. It's almost an anthropological exercise -- detecting the coded signals being sent to friend and foe and to the North Korean people.

Sometimes, those signals are hard to divine. In one dispatch earlier this year, KCNA lambasted the investigation that concluded the North was responsible for sinking a South Korean warship. "This is a natural product of the plot hatched by those who sought to gain something through a clumsy farce only to meet a fiasco," it fulminated.

But at other times, what is said -- or not said -- can be significant. On New Year's Day 2009, the annual policy message said North Korea would "develop relations with the countries friendly towards us." That and an absence of bellicose words directed at the United States was taken as a hint that the North was willing to work with the incoming Obama administration.

Similarly, when the West was awash with rumors about Kim's health last year, KCNA made a point of reporting that he had "granted a long audience to and had a cordial talk with Hyon Jong Un [Hyun Jeong-Eun], chairperson of the Hyundai Group."

And occasionally, the agency admits to problems at home -- alluding to food shortages last year when it said "a radical turn should be brought about in the efforts to improve the standard of people's living."

However outlandish some of KCNA's claims and reports may seem, its output is still unwelcome in the South. KCNA's English-language output (which is actually hosted by servers in Japan) is blocked in the South -- along with a number of other websites that have connections with North Korea.

Monday, October 18, 2010

Fall into winter

Long summer.
But the freezer is full of salmon.
A good sign that the bank account is full too.

Fishing is work no matter what people say.
Trying to get more money from each pound of fish.
Selling to the tourists.
Selling to the restaurants.
Mercy selling, what is left, to the cannery for half the price of the above.

Sock it away like a squirrel hides nuts.

November 1st the commercial fishing season is over.
But the salmon have already run up the river.
It's half way thru October and the salmon are very hard to find with a net or a pole.
They are spawning---pro creating---up the river somewhere.

The pro created will come back 3 to 7 years from now.
And do what their parents did.
Spawn...and then pass away.
Unless they are caught along the way and sacrificed for the lives of humans.

It's a good thing.

The Yakima Indians fished for these salmon for 12,000 years.
And in 1995 the Chief of a Yakima tribe was sent to jail for 5 years.
He forgot to fill out a federal form clarifying exactly how many salmon he caught and sold that day.

Seems like science fiction.
His people fished for 12,000 years.
We threw him in jail for not following the 'white man's rules'.
White man made those rules less than 100 years ago.
We can't seem to manage our natural resources well.

Balance is key.

The Indians managed for 12,000 years.
But ;white man' successfully messed things up in a little over 100 years.

We are to blame for our 'industrialized demise.'

But no----let's blame commercial fisherman.
And Indians.
It's easier to blame.
And prove power with incarceration or monetary fines.

Being a commercial salmon fisherman.
I feel for the Indians.
I guess that is obvious.

The new 'white man' being the 'conservationist movement' who tries to simplify the world's resource issues by blaming one group....the harvester.

Hoping they can throw all the 'Indians' in jail and throw away the key.
Such bullshit.

SO-----the season is almost over.
But the sun is out.
The waves aplenty.
4 days of paddling, catching, surfing, crashing.

It was 39 degrees this morning.
I drank my coffee and watched the sun rise
over the glassy bay in front of my house.

Pushing on into fall...and eventually into winter.
Spending that money socked away like nuts.
Ripping fireplace fires.
Just stacked 3 cords of wood in the garage.
It's that time again.
Pumpkins, rain, cold sunny days, and a green lawn that doesn't need mowing (whew)
Eating salmon from the overstocked freezer--- all winter long.

Duck dive.
Here comes a set.
Paddle out a bit further.
Turn and burn.

I am sore in new, but oh so familiar, places in my body today.
4 days of paddling, catching, surfing, crashing.

It was a long six months of fishing.
Three months of the six were surf-less.
There was surf---but it is small surf in Oregon in summer.
Summer waves in Oregon never seem to provide the necessary stoke.

Fall, and winter, bring the bigger and more powerful groundswells back.
Swells that travel 1000 miles and clean up beautifully along the way.

We surfers get to catch those waves....
Just before they crash onto the gravel, rocks and sand--- and die.
Much like the salmon.

Felt good to surf ----after 3 months of down time.
And amazing that we just don't forget...?
how to do it.

Something always draws us back.
Like the salmon are drawn to the river.
And they fight so hard to get up that river.

Duck dive.
My wave.

Monday, September 13, 2010

A must see for any surfer of cold climates.

Much like Oregon.
Much like Washington.
Much like Canada.
Much like Northern California.

And there is no doubt this cinematographer/surfer passionately loves every drop of 48 degree water he floats in.

Watch---and pass it on to a surfer friend.

Sunday, August 1, 2010

Lemonade furniture polish and gentically modified meat

We are living in a world today where lemonade is made from artificial flavors and furniture polish is made from real lemons.

So called 'conservationists' spend millions of dollars to eliminate the natural commercial harvest of fish. Their reasons are a plenty. Their logic and fact research is skewed to an extreme.

What if there were no hatcheries....or harvest of Salmon with nets?

Are you ready to eat genetically engineered salmon?

Or how about an altogether new animal? One that was not on the Ark but marched out of laboratory test tubes into grocery stores across America?

We've been fooling Mother Nature with vegetables for a good while now, pasting and cutting out little baby carrots that come up as equally proportioned as a string of paper dolls.

And have you ever seen those long tubes of hardboiled eggs that slice and dice for salad bars?

Now the U.S. Food and Drug Administration is leaning toward approving the first genetically engineered animal for people to eat: an Atlantic salmon that can grow to market size in 16 to 18 months rather than the three years it takes the God-made kind - putting a whole new spin on the term "fast food."

The company that developed this Incredible Hulk of a salmon is called AquaBounty Technologies. It says this new creature would be grown in fish farms (as are most of the salmon we eat today) similar to common trout farms where fish are kept in holding tanks and fed fast and furiously until one day they chomp down on a kernel of corn at the end of a hook. It's not much of a sport, but fun for the grandkids.

The way they manipulate the salmon so that it grows faster than Mother Nature intended is to use genes from two of the Atlantic salmon's cousins, the Chinook salmon and the ocean pout. Ordinarily, the growth hormones of the Atlantic salmon shut down in winter but keep on going year round in the Chinook and pout. It's like putting in D-cell where there was only an AAA, turning those growth hormones into the genetic equivalent to the Energizer Bunny.

If the FDA approves this kind of animal engineering, the food industry predicts more to come: cattle resistant to mad cow disease, all white-meat chickens, healthier pork.

One of the issues the FDA must deal with is whether the government will require labeling these genetically altered salmon as such. The CEO of AquaBounty says his company isn't opposed to labeling but since they will be selling the fish eggs, not actually "making" the fish, it's not his company's problem. Also, quoted in The New York Times, he says that since the altered salmon "is identical in every measurable" way to the traditional food Atlantic salmon, "it would be misleading to require labeling."

All the genetically engineered salmon would be female, sterile and raised entirely in fish farm tanks, thus avoiding any contact or competition with wild salmon.

At a Canadian university, researchers and scientists are now developing what they call an "enviropig" - a new animal that supplies healthier bacon, having, among other things, less phosphorus in its manure.

I haven't decided what I think about all this. I don't know enough about it, though I don't really trust the FDA to look out for us, safety-wise.

I am not a vegetarian, but I eat more non-meat meals than most Americans. What I wish these brainy people who can reinvent pigs and salmon and other edible animals would do is concentrate on the other food groups. Why can't they make a candy bar that has the reverse effect of adding pounds? Why can't they make carrot juice taste as good as a margarita?

Can't they genetically alter fruits and vegetables so that the little red healthy heart shows up on restaurant menus alongside the chicken and dumplings, loaded-mashed-stirred-and-creamed hash browns with a double order of link sausages, or a super-sized shake?

Let's get them to work it out so the calorie police beg us to get the medium popcorn with triple butter at the movies instead of bringing in an apple.

Why can't Weight Watchers have a red velvet cake as an eat-smart alternate to, say, nonfat plain yogurt or a slab of tofu?

Of course, that would put diet plans from Hollywood to South Beach out of business, and willpower would become a nonplayer on the Food Channel.

And the reality is that American's have become acquainted with the taste of sugar and fat and relate to those flavors as GOOD. And that is probably the largest issue with obesity in America today. American's eat based on taste instead of eating what the body really needs.

I just got done surfing--- I am really hungry----and I am so happy to have a freezer full of NATIVE OREGONIAN GILLNET CAUGHT CHINOOK SALMON.

Go to the store and buy some while you can.
Because if the extremists have their way there will be no more fishing with nets in the Columbia---you will not have access to your state's native food source---and you will find plenty of genetically modified salmon in the freezer at Costco.

Friday, June 4, 2010

Stunning attitude....

Attitude truly IS everything in this life we live.
And this guy made my day...
My week...
My month...
I can honestly say I won't ever forget this video for my entire life.
That is pretty amazing when you think about it.

This guy makes one think...

Friday, April 30, 2010

It's not a fair world...

Never will be.
It's not a complaint.
It's a fact.
Some bugs only live 48 hours.
If they had a brain to think about it they would have the potential to fall into the trap of victim mentality.

Some people are born with defects.
Some have a smart parent, and a dumb parent, and they unfortunately got the dumb parent genes.
Some think one can inherit the genes of alcoholism.
And others believe that a person can be born edified by God from the day of their entrance into the world.
Some are born into a wealthy bloodline.
While others are born into despair and famine.
On and on we can go...........with the unfairness of life.

But there is a miracle in the fact that our heart keeps beating when we sleep.
There is a miracle in the fact that we all have the ability to create.
We all have the ability to express thoughts and ideas.

There is a miracle in the fact that we as humans can even comprehend these things.
It is that same 'miracle of thought' that allows us to 'question our existence'.
And if you start questioning you run the risk of labeling yourself as a victim.

But we are all a scientific miracle.

The sun comes up----the moon goes down-----and some scientists say that if this process was even .25 of an inch out of whack we would all perish.

It's a delicate balance.
So some things do need to break down, work inefficiently, and change.

Change is inevitable.
And because of this inevitable change there will always be cause and effect.

It's spring.
Plants make flowers to attract bees and hummingbirds.
They don't question their existence?

Everything around the yard is literally exploding with colors---and of course green.
The yard needs mowed twice a week.
The plants don't stop and complain about the mower....the grass just keeps growing.

The salmon are running.
The bald eagles are hunting in the bay in front of the house.
The salmon don't slap their tails in disgust of the fact that they are being hunted by birds. They just keep pushing to the spawning grounds up the river.

Migrations of bright colored goldfinch birds, doves, and chickadees are swarming the yard.
My cat jumped from the bushes yesterday and snatched one from the bird feeder.
The remaining birds didn't write a letter to the local newspaper demanding cat control.
The birds simply keep coming back to the feeders.

In some ways they are blessed that they DON'T reason their own existence.
Or maybe they are even more fortunate than we know and they are smart enough to know that questioning is a complete waste of time?

The ocean is dark with the color of algae blooms which are the primary source of food for millions of fish.

A few days ago I watched nice waves peel into shore with that algae in the face of the waves.
A surfer turned to me and complained------very boldly.

"I drove all the way here from Portland to find shit in the water" he said.

I refrained.

My surfboard has fresh wax rubbed on it from a couple of fun sessions with friends.
The winds are starting to blow from the northwest----ushering in spring with freshness.

We ate clams yesterday which we dug from our beach.
We also ate sockeye salmon from last falls run.
And even some lasagna with deer meat from a deer literally captured in the back yard.

Life may not be fair.
But in the end it is balanced.
Just gotta learn to fit into the grooves we were cut out for.

The very fact that you can read this on a computer is testament to the miracle of your own sight.

So get out there and go find some good views.

Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Progress is regress?

In the summer of 1991 issue of the Amicus Journal, the publication of the Natural Resources Defense Council, an artilcle appeared called "The Reinvention of the Americal Frontier".
It's two authors described rural adaptations such as farming and logging as "extractive" industries, and sought to develop a "kinder and gentler frontier" by replacing them with retirement communities and tourism, viewed as non-extractive and therefore morally correct adaptations.

Rural areas are usually characterized by traditional adaptations based on, in their view, renewable resources.
The shift in terminology from such words as fishing, farming, and logging to "extractive industries" carries a negative moral weight, which in turn justifies the turning over of resources to the "morally superior non extractive" users.

The latent function of such thinking, however, is colonialist in nature.

It is a classic case, the hinterland is no longer permitted to export it's raw materials, its wealth, to urban areas for processing as it could in previous eras. Rather, rural sources of income in the form of trees, fish, and land are transformed into a means of recreation for tourists.

Is there not a distrubing echo here of how the original frontier was created, by means of a land grab from the aboriginal inhabitants of North America?

Must frontier creation always involve a wrestling away of resources from one owner/user by another?

What are the social consequences of such decisions?

In this 'wrestling away of frontier land' is it also necessary that these "morally superior" people consistently degrade the value of the natural resource workers by pointing out the workers lower wage --as compared to most urban dwellers?
Just because one can afford to buy expensive 'green' clothing made from recycled goods does not mean that the natural resource worker in his rugged and worn clothing should be labeled a 'bad person'.

This type of thinking promotes the argument that those of 'lower lifestyle' deserve to have the land wrestled away from them.

It is as if the tourists on the upper deck of the Titanic are saying to those below that their opinion is of no worth due to their lack of income.
And it is not often noted that many of these natural resource workers do not need but half the income of an urban dweller in order to live a very healthy, natural, nutritious lifestyle. The abundance of natural resource in such areas guarantees that the hearty natural resource worker will alway have a freezer full of fish, clams, elk and deer. Thier homes heated by wood they gather in nearby woods or washed up on the beach.

I was born and raised in the rural areas of Oregon.
Most of my life I have been on the coast and learned to love the rugged beauty of the salted air.
I have lived elsewhere up and down the coast including San Diego and Santa Barbara.
It is there that I have seen the land be taken from the resource workers and what has developed because of it.
The bulldozers are hungry and they seem to keep getting bigger as they are fed more.

In San Diego, for example, the entire agricultural district of Chula Vista was 'written off' and is lost due to the fact that the developers needed the water to fill the bathtubs and jacuzzis of new home projects.

The farmers were simply told they could no longer use the water.
And literally overnight the farms closed their 100 year old barn doors forever.

I truly hope our societies fascination with the 'green' movement also includes some respect for those people who work in nature.
Natural resource workers are some of the most fulfilled and happy individuals left in our digitized, overprocessed, genetically modified, ammonia washed fast food hamburger fed nation.
The idea of taking a young child out to show him or her how to gather fish, food, or grain seems so distant in our culture.
The average family farm used to feed 6 to 8 families.
The average farm now feeds around 100,000 families.
And you can buy a hamburger with all the fixings for a dollar-----how scary.

Efficiency is not always productive.
And progress can be regress.

Friday, February 26, 2010

Surfing and commercial fishing are SO similar....

Imagine if surfing was made illegal in Oregon because someone claimed it was harming the fish which tourists were flocking to Oregon to fish for.

Oh don't laugh-----------it could happen.
It has happened in a few small islands.
And commercial fishing in Oregon is being attacked by 'environmental superior-ists' who claim that harvesting fish is bad.

Seriously---as a surfer, fisherman, and naturalist---it is really discouraging to think that this really can happen in the U.S.A.
I am an independent which leans towards democratic due to the opinion that democrats seem to think ahead a bit more than republicans.

But mostly I am a logical thinker.
Give me a logical explanation to a situation and my vote is for you.

It has become fashionable to label the harvester as an "extractor".

Loggers, fisherman, and farmers.
Lately they have come under the observation of those who like to label them negatively with words like extractor---devatstator---raper of the land---etc.

I want to encourage you to expand your mind.

I wear patagonia clothes in an effort to promote earth friendliness.
I recycle EVERY thing I can.
I LOVE nature and want to preserve nature as best we can.
I fill my refrigerator with glass jars ---not plastic.

I love wood, metal, glass----and plastic is the 'fog' of the vision of the future I hate to contribute to.

But---- just a radical thought-----have we gone too far?

Are we now pushing out natural harvest?

Will gardens be considered bad for the environment in our future?

I am not a conspiracy freak.
To me---it's just stating something obvious.
I have a first hand view of the situation

I am a commercial fisherman.

Why are the commercial fisherman labeled so negatively?

Do we all have chickens in our back yard, gardens growing wildly, and do we really fish or hunt for every morsel of fish and flesh we eat?

This country has become so infatuated with making every rural and beautiful area into a tourist attraction, or retirement community, that the biggest developers have decided to come against the traditional harvester.

Labels such as

These are all just smokescreens and distractions from the truth.

We are all to blame for the demise of salmon runs.
We all are responsible for the development and industrialization which has harmed salmon and all of our resources.

We all use the power from the dams which killed salmon runs.
We all build houses with wood which is clear cut from the hills of Oregon.

Please stop acting so innocent.
Bust out of your office cubicle a bit and think realistically.

Blaming the commercial fisherman is simply not ethical.

There are fishers, environmental groups, and developers who impact habitat involved in this debate.
All have fundamentally different values and they will never come to perfect agreement.
Continual debate is inevitable.
Hostility towards those involved in natural resource based harvest jobs is growing.

Fisherman know they do not have the time, money or resources to fight back.

But still the hobby fisherman, so called environmentalists, and developers continue to push the fisherman down and paint a negative picture about their livelihood.
There are people in the U.S.A. claiming to be "environmentally superior" to others. And the sad fact is that many of those 'superior' people live in urban areas and are often afraid to move out to a space more environmentally enriching and safe for their own family.

It really is a shame.

The resources this country was built upon.
The resources we have, and harvest, to other countries have diminished.
We have replaced these things with all the plastic crap in our houses.
And now we export our jobs.

Are intel, nike tennis shoes or microsoft, our new solutions to resource wealth in the NW?

What happened to the hard working, harvesting, people of the United States of America?

Next we will export our children---to work in other countries---to make goods for U.S. consumers.

Children from rural communities are already leaving their home towns and families.
And we wonder why the family values in the U.S.A. are in decline.
They have no promise in the rural region harvest jobs of their father or mother.

These kids are told they can find better work if they move to urban areas, go to college, and strive for a desk job in a cubicle.

And so many anti commercial salmon fisherman people are in favor of this.

What is happening?

I am in favor of making our natural resources in the U.S.A. a number one priority.
My U.S.A. is not just for these "new frontiersmen" who's hobbies, retirement communities, and tourism revolve around the Disneyland version of Oregon I was born into ----and proudly fight to preserve.

Keep Oregon clean, green and mean.

Do we really think that the tourists, and so called conservationists, will take better care of our home than we will?

Is it really the solution to bring in people from all over to go on a guide boat and catch all our fish?

We have goods, and hard working people to make and harvest those goods.
There is a way to balance this out ethically.

There is NO guarantee that the new frontier of "environmentally superior minded" folk will govern with a preservation ethic by which the land or resources preserved will even be made ACCESSIBLE by all.

We who are truly environmentally minded...
We have LIVES and JOBS which revolve around the natural ways of the earth.
We want the earth to sustain a healthy way of being.
We want to harvest, and re harvest, for generations to come.
We want the salmon to propegate for without them we do not have a LIFE.

We do not want to lose any of the existing species of animals, or humans, which currently exist.
We are naturalists and we want nature to thrive.

We believe that there is a way to balance the supply of salmon with the needs of man.

And we also recognize that the urban dwelling--- so called 'environmentally superior'---- minded person is in conflict with our way of life.

We believe those proud and 'superior' people have the power to change laws.
But those people may lose everything -----by trying to save something so irresponsibly.

Read the FINE PRINT.

Friday, February 19, 2010

What a week.

It's been unusually warm here---as you all know who live here.
February is hit or miss.
This year it's been a hit.
Here is a great picture by Mark of Cannon Beach surf shop.

12 days of good surf.
2 days of kitesurfing.
5 days of pole fishing.
Sunday we begin net fishing.

Can't go on enough about how frustrating the attempted gill net ban is.
A small group of people with money.
That small group has one agenda.
They want all the fish to themselves.
They claim they are innocent.
That their poles and hooks never damage any fish.
I know better.
Any real fisherman knows better.
Their hooks kill.
And there were thousands of wild stock salmon caught with hooks....
thrown into pickups and smuggled home illegally.

The anglers claim they never kill any wild salmon.
A net catches a salmon.
If it's a wild born salmon (the adipose fin is not clipped off like the hatchery born fish) we can let it go....alive.

The gillnet fishery is a completely sustainable fishery.
The fish are hatched in the hatchery---let go to the ocean---and they return 3 to 7 years later (to die) and we harvest them.

It's amazing.
Technology cannot compete with nature's ways.
There is still no logical explanation for how the salmon KNOW where to return.
It's nature.

But I can see the greedy television advertisements now.
Saying we are killing whales, dolphins, seals....what a bunch of garbage.
Claiming we hate nature.
Claiming we hate salmon.
Nothing could be further from the truth.

But three men can have a huge voice.
With enough money.
And enough greed in their blood.

Such is this new way of living in 2010.
One person, such as myself, can type words and they are read all around the world.
Ashton Kutcher can have 1,000,000 followers watching him on twitter.
The world has become so small---in so many ways.

Using this fact to their advantage---- two rich guys and a lawyer decide to try and change the Oregon economy and the native Oregonian's way of living.

Walter Fondren (heir to the Exxon fortune...big oil man) and definitely NOT from Oregon.

Loren Parks of Nevada(made millions from a sexual hypnotism scam)

Kevin Mannix (whacko republican attorney)

These three men write up a measure for the citizens to vote on.

They use their money to collect 82,000 signatures.

They recruit sport (pole angler) fisherman.
They convince these fisherman that when the gillnets are gone there will be more fish for the poles to catch.

Even though the Federal government, the state of Oregon, and the state of Washington all watch intensely until too many endangered fish are caught---and then halt ALL fishing.
Even though with no gillnets the EXACT SAME NUMBER of endangered fish will be caught----just by anglers only.

The sportfisherman just don't want to share the sandbox.
Yet the gillnetter has never attacked the sportfisherman.
Even though the sport fishing fleet kills FAR MORE fish than the gillnetters.

The greedy anti group knows the traditional gillnet fisherman doesn't really like sitting in front of computers.
Most are too busy outside fixing nets, their boats, and helping each other work.

So---- it won't be too tough of a fight to beat down the traditional commercial fisherman.

When 82,000 signatures are gathered they throw an issue on the ballot in Oregon.
An issue that is CLEARLY misunderstood by 80% of Oregon.
And the people of Oregon vote.
Portland, Corvallis, Salem, Bend, Junction City, Eugene.
Most of those people have never touched a live salmon.
Most don't even know that the salmon running up the river are running up to spawn and die before we catch them.

Most don't know that 90% of the fish in the river were hatched in a hatchery---paid for by gillnetters and subsidized by the power companies who are paying the gillnetters back from the damage of the dams (which blocked the migration of salmon to their spawning grounds)

If the gillnets are banned ---Oregon will lose another 20 million dollar industry.
Salmon meat was one of the first industries in Oregon.
How sad that these men have such personal interest in destroying so much.

If you vote.

Please vote NO ON 74.

Hundreds of families will thank you that dad still has a job working hard in the river.

These boats are all single manned boats.
Self sufficient one man operations.
Sole proprietorships.
Small businesses in which our country was built on.

Without the salmon industry in the river you will have to buy fish raised in farms.

Salmon which never go to the sea---they are born in a pen and raised there.
Fed by pellets which contain 10 times the cancer causing PCB's of a natural salmon.

Their flesh is then dyed pink to look like it went to the ocean.

You eat that costco farmed salmon---and you are eating a little Red dye number 5.

Farmed fish are the alternative to gillnetting.
And a horrible alternative.

You can bet the anti gillnet campaign won't let the animal rights activists know that farming salmon is the alternative to gillnettting them.

Vote no on 74 and let these special idea money men get on to other things.
Leave our state alone.

Walter Fondren can go back to slinging his oil around bays like he did in the Exxon Valdez spill.
Without commercial fisherman in our river maybe he can mess up our river too---Throw a few liquid natural gas facilities up---which are already being proposed.

With gillnets out of the way he won't have any commercial fisherman to pay off for any damages he causes to the salmon while building those giant facilities on the river banks.

Kevin Mannix can try again for some public office and fail again.

Loren Parks can spend time hypnotizing sexual addicts---and making millions doing so.

And the gillnetters who have fished this river for over 200 years will breathe easy another year.

Until another group decides they want the fish and attacks us again--- next year.

Thursday, February 4, 2010

More on the attempt to ban commercial fishing on the Columbia River.

A completely sustainable harvest of fresh wild fish----in our beautiful state.

Sport fisherman want to have all the salmon to themselves.
So they are telling horrible lies about gillnetting and attempting to set themselves up as saviors to our amazing salmon.

But they are not saviors.
In fact sport fisherman killed so many endangered fish in 2009 that Oregon and Washington department of fish and wildlife told to stop fishing....or face penalty.

The sport fisherman are a large group with a lot of money---and they are financially backed by big oil companies like Exxon who also want commercial fishing "out of the way" for other ventures.

If the law is voted on by the general public of Oregon it could be a horrible case of misinformed votes--------even though the voters are only trying to do what is best.

To clear up the MYTH about gillnetters 'killing endangered species of wild salmon' you can see this video clearly defines how we MUST revive wild stock salmon (born in the wild and not tagged) and release them to the wild again.

We commercial salmon fisherman want nothing more than to have the salmon runs grow to historic levels.
It would mean more salmon for everyone and an opportunity for us all to earn a little better living too.

Don't sign ANY petition or vote for anything regarding commercial fishing on the Columbia river until you look deeper into the subject and are sure to listen to both sides of the story.

This video is hosted by fisherman Darren Crookshank who demonstrates the revival process of wild salmon.

It is important to note that 93% of the fish we catch were hatchery born and bred fish, not native fish which we gladly put back in the river.

It is also most important to note that a hook and line sport fisherman will fight the fish all the way to the edge of the boat and they are NOT required to revive the fish. Many times a sport fisherman catches a fish, fights it to the boat, unhooks it and it floats away.

In addition, hook caught salmon commonly swallow the hook and it kills them when the hook is removed. Even though the sport fisherman puts the fish back in the water.

Sport fishing is not innocent ----though they claim to be.

Tanglenet Fishing on the Columbia River: A Sustainable Fishery from Lawrence Johnson on Vimeo.

Monday, February 1, 2010

No need to be crabby

Crab boiling in a pot.
Low tide clam digging in the early morning.
Clam strip appetizers.
Last summer's salmon on the grill.
Vegetables from the summer garden are steaming.

The swell is friendly this week.
But still head high or above.

Grey skies.
No worries.
Even the elk are happy.
They are not being hunted at this time.

Too much to be happy about.

And when the sun peaks out
for the sunset...
It's time to play guitar.

Home sweet home.

Thursday, January 21, 2010

Winter rain ---feelin' all new age'y and sappy. Maybe it's just the firewood on my hands?

It's an amazing time of year.
Wood stove ripping downstairs.
Fireplace ripping upstairs.

Not really cold.
But the flames are way better than television.

There are places where you awaken every day to 65 degree air and clear blue skies.
No question.
It does something to awaken a persons mind and body.
Knowing the weather will always be desirable.
Knowing that the sun will bring you a bolt of energy to start your day.
Drive 101.
Check the surf.
Been there.
San Diego.
3 years.
Pismo Beach.
3 years.
Same weather.
Every f-ing day.

It got boring.
And very insecure when I really looked into the numbers.
The drought.
The farmlands sold for developments in Chula Vista.
The masses pushing out to the boundaries of San Diego county.

It wasn't home.
Not many can really call it home.
Just a temporary dwelling.
Not many natives are left there.
Mostly transient deposits.
People looking for sun for an answer.

It's not there.
Not when you know the truth.

It's better here.


Water is the world's most valuable resource.
A human can live 2 weeks without food...or more.
but only 3 to 5 days without water.

When it rains.
I remember.
It's safe.

We need it.
All of us.

California needs rain right now.
They are bitching.
Putting jackets on.
Jackets with hoods.
They are disoriented.

The oil on the roads hasn't been washed off for a long while.
The surf pumps.
Don't go in to reap the promises.
Ear infections.
Gastrotestinal infections.
Oh the memories.

The jet stream dipped their way the past few days.
They can have it.
I enjoyed the sun today.

But bring the rain back.
The jet stream is good 'cold steam'.
Clean air.
People here would reap the benefits of energy.
If only they would go outside.
When it rains.
And breathe it in with a good

Sun is good.
But more so rain.

It's fine with me.
Water is good.
It's life.
It's 80 percent of our being.

Looks like surf tomorrow.

Hopefully it will rain
and the surf will be clean.


See you out there.

Monday, January 11, 2010

Wakeboarding in the ocean?

Did a 21 mile bike ride around Lewis and Clark---the loop.
Stopped to see the waterfall is raging as usual this time of year.

It's a great ride.
Big O saloon.
Country boys and girls bar.
They know how to pick a good bartender.
Good point to grab a beer about 3/4 of the way through the ride.

Sign on the wall says
"you know you are a redneck if you have ever bandaged a wound with duct tape"

Doesn't everyone?
I guess not.
I don't hunt bear.
But I have had more than my share of duct taped wounds.
Duct tape on surfboard battle wounds.

And duct taped fishing poles, shoes, trucks, ---never enough rolls of silver salvation laying around.

Sunday is a good day to ride these roads.
Empty roads.
The log truck drivers are at home enjoying their woodstove, television and beer.

Surf is huge this week.
Maybe it's good at a certain couple of places?
Shall see.

Starting to think about taking a fly away vacation to some sun and wind.

Surfing vacations are tough.
Packing all the boards---and if your luck isn't active you don't get swell.
Bunk trip.

So winter vacations are better suited for kitesurfing---to me.

The last 3 years I have been kitesurfing exclusively with a surfboard---no straps.
And I am still blown away that people still approach on the beach to
"what is that you are doing?"

And even more amazed that a few more surfers have not picked up the possible endless ride.
NW winds all summer long.
Sloppy shit surf.
Perfect for letting a wing pull you around on your favorite 6'2 surfboard.

mulcoy's world from Josh Mulcoy on Vimeo.

Starting to revisit the sensation of riding on a wakeboard again.
This video reminded me.

Rock fever?
Or just a little antsy since I know the surf may be handicapped this week.

Back to working on the boat.